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Center for the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, 9190501

tel. 972.2.5494950

Diversity Policy

Steering Committee for Diversity Policy

In the context of our role as spearheading implementation of IHA within HU, the university president established a committee tasked with developing a diversity policy. This committee is headed by Prof. Mona Khoury-Kassabri and managed by Michal Barak and includes faculty members, administrative staff and students, including representatives of minority communities. Following submission of its recommendations, the committee will act as an advocacy body to ensure their implementation while also continuing to advise the university on issues related to diversity. HU has already taken some initial steps in this direction: the university has begun to add signage in Arabic, created a new form to be filled out during registration to the university to collect data on under-represented groups and adopted a more diverse academic calendar that includes Muslim and Christian holidays.


Committee for Encouraging Diversity in Hiring: Gender and Diversity

The Committee for Advancing Female Faculty Members, headed by Prof. Batsheva Kerem, was expanded in 2017 to include male researchers from a variety of minority groups, and thus, Michal Barak joined this committee. Committee members developed recommendations which were subsequently adopted by the university senate and are now in the process of being implemented. One of the committee’s primary recommendations is that each department should set targets for hiring researchers from minority groups and take active steps in identifying these relevant candidates. In order to facilitate implementation of this recommendation and others, Prof. Tamar Zilber (Business School) and Michal Barak (CSMD) ran a series of workshops for members of screening and hiring committees on the subject of unconscious biases. Seven presentations were held in January 2018 at the four different HU campuses reaching over 150 participants.

Another step geared towards promoting diversity between faculty members is supporting young researchers at the beginning of their academic careers. CSMD initiated and organized a series of seminars for PhD students who are the first in their families to achieve higher education. The vast majority of such students are from the Arab community. Session topics included grant writing, abstract writing, presentation skills and course design. This peer group is a supportive forum whereby students can share their experiences and meet inspiring faculty members - many of whom themselves are first generation academics. The project was led by CSMD's Dr. Fahima Abbas. 


Diversifying HU Staff

HU recently initiated a partnership with the Authority for Equal Opportunities in Employment, a governmental body, in order to enhance the University’s ability to diversify its workforce. We are currently assessing representation of minority groups from among university staff while also examining salaries and promotion processes. CSMD, together with the Human Resources Division of the university are leading this project. The Equal Opportunities in Employment Authority has assigned a consultant to HU and she is in the process of meeting with key individuals at the university. Based on the data collected from this process, the consultant will design an action plan.  


Workshops and Lectures for Faculty and Staff

In cooperation with the Unit for Learning and Teaching (for faculty) and the Human Resources Division (for administrative staff) we offer lectures, workshops and tours for faculty and staff on Multiculturalism, diversity and  challenges faced by students from minority groups. The discussions aim to generate dialogue regarding strategies for inclusion and practical steps for moving forward.


Making Space for Political Activities on Campus

Following a student demonstration which turned violent, Dr. Malka Greenberg Raanan (a CSMD fellow) began to research the issue of space for political activities on campus. Malka interviewed students form a variety of political clubs and asked them questions regarding university regulations, space, sense of security and visibility. This process has laid the groundwork for revising university regulations regarding political activity. We hope that, at the end of this project, there will be an enhanced feeling that the campus is a vibrant space committed to freedom of speech, mutual respect and positive engagement.